Of course, one hardship after another happens in life. This is not special to being a PCV (Peace Corps volunteer), but certainly can feel more overwhelming since you are typically by yourself surrounded by people that may or may not speak your primary language. Not to mention the fact that those around you also may not comprehend what you are working through! I was talking with my didi about how after I married, I would not have a "maiti gar" (a married woman's parents' house where she was born).
When I was born, my parents lived in an apartment at the time. We moved a couple times until settling where we are now after my dad got a different job. For many Nepalis, they don't move or if they do - only to one other place after marriage. Concepts like moving a few times are as foreign as the Nepali language is for people who speak English. I explained that people moved when households got bigger or smaller or when people got new jobs in different cities. However, having something explained that you don't really have a context for can be difficult to comprehend.
I feel like I have finally gotten a handle on dealing with my emotions, physical reactions, and etc. that have come up as different things have happened. The emails I received as well as this time to be together with my group has really helped. I also had the opportunity to talk through things with someone who helped me to realize in the process of my working through things - other things were being poked at so there should have been no wonder why I was reacting the way I had been. I have some steps I am going to take for change when I get back...
That phrase - when I get back... So true and while I am fairly certain we will be back this week - uncertainty still reigns in many PCVs minds as to what decisions will be made about the fuel crisis. Our meeting has been moved to Tuesday to allow staff more time to think of the problems/concerns we have been seeing as well as what we feel PCN (Peace Corps Nepal) could do to address/fix the problems/concerns. Some may wonder why we are just not pulled out. (If anyone involved in Peace Corps staff is reading this - please do not take this as I or anyone other volunteers that are here think the same!!)
Reality is at site - we are safe. Cooking fuel is lacking, but Nepalis are resilient and are adapting, using wood stoves or hot plates. Food is still available - just more expensive. Traveling is what has become more of an issue than normal. PC worked around that by collecting us when we needed to all come together for training. This solution made sense when it was for all of us to get to one location they needed us at, but will not for when we need to go to our district capitals for work/recreational purposes.
Some sites have vehicles available that can be reserved for private use, but prices are above our monthly living allowance. This is something PC is thinking about factoring in to ensure volunteer safety during traveling. Reality is that unless something else changes to make sites unsafe - it does not make much sense to us volunteers to be pulled out now. Many of the difficulties we are experiencing are typical of Nepal, but are more exasperated due to the fuel crisis.
As for now, life continues. We are waiting hear word on the decisions being made before we go back to site. In the meantime, we are in a city we don't really like. However, our group is all together when there are only certain times this is possible without intentionally doing so and even if we were to intentionally gather together - it would be difficult. Please continue praying for Nepal. Thank you everyone for your love and support!